Economic and social empowerment of women is one of the most talked about issues in India and filmmakers have not lagged behind – they are reinforcing the concepts with their stories on celluloid, with the movies being a mirror of society. The last few years saw quite a few narratives with strong female characters.Here are some women-centric Bollywood films that were commercially viable and critically acclaimed…
The Bollywood movie factory is male-dominated, no doubt. But it’s come up with some standout films that focus on women. In this month which marked Women’s Day, we take a look at some of the best women-centric films of recent times, including the latest ‘Gulaab Gang’. Economic and social empowerment of women is one of the most talked about issues in India and filmmakers have not lagged behind – they are reinforcing the concepts with their stories on celluloid, with the movies being a mirror of society. The last few years saw quite a few narratives with strong female characters. Here are some women-centric Bollywood films that were commercially viable and critically acclaimed!
‘Gulaab Gang’, a film about the struggles of women in India, veers away from the Bollywood formula and has no male protagonist. Madhuri Dixit plays the film’s lead character. Directed by Soumik Sen and produced by Anubhav Sinha, the film stars Juhi Chawla portraying the antagonist…
The movie gets its title and draws inspiration on a group of women who wear pink sarees and fight social injustice in the Bundelkhand region. ‘Gulaab Gang’ sees two leading heroines of yesteryear, Madhuri and Juhi, sharing screen space for the first time. In the days before the film’s release, Sampat Pal, the leader of the original Gulab Gang has filed a case against the producers for making a film on her without permission. Juhi Chawla said on Koffee with Karan that she initially had reservations about playing a negative character, but was convinced to do it because it was opposite Madhuri. Madhuri Dixit will be seen as Rajjo, in a completely deglam avatar in ‘Gulaab Gang’.
Despite the serious theme, fans will get to see Madhuri show off her famed dancing skills in ‘Gulaab Gang’. The dances have been choreographed by Saroj Khan. Madhuri prepared for the stunt sequences by training in martial arts like Shaolin Kung Fu and Tirsia Kali. ‘Gulaab Gang’ is directed by debutant Soumik Sen and produced by Anubhav Sinha. ‘Gulaab Gang’ will see Juhi Chawla, the bubbly heroine of the ‘80s, in her first negative role. Juhi plays a villainous politician, Sumitra Devi, in the film.
Audiences can expect powerful performances from both Madhuri and Juhi Chawla in ‘Gulaab Gang’. Madhuri was last seen on the big screen in ‘Dedh Ishqiya’. The movie about women’s empowerment was scheduled to release on the eve of International Women’s Day, clashing with ‘Queen’ and ‘Total Siyappa’ at the box-office, but a cpurt case against it led to a delay.
‘GULAAB GANG’ A COMMERCIAL POTBOILER : ANUBHAV SINHA
Producer Anubhav Sinha talks about ‘Gulaab Gang’ and the film’s leading ladies…
Anubhav Sinha says his ‘Gulaab Gang’ is a commercial potboiler and he does not think of it as a risky proposition. ‘Gulaab Gang’ stars two powerful actresses – Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla as the leading ladies of the film. Anubhav does not feel the film is women-centric. “I do not see it as a women-centric film. I liked the story and found it a commercial potboiler. I was not sceptical to back it as the cost of production was not that big. I did not think it as a risky proposition,” Anubhav told us. The makers always had Madhuri and Juhi in mind for the film. Anubhav says bringing the two senior actresses onboard together for the film was not difficult. “It was not difficult to bring them on board. I was apprehensive how the film would be shot. But we are happy it has exactly turned out the way we had expected,” he said. Considering Madhuri and Juhi were rivals when they were ruling Bollywood, there were reports that initially the two did not get along well. “There were no fights or anything of that sort. There was no negativity. We had fun while doing the film,” Anubhav said.
In the film, Madhuri leads a group of women fighting against the social injustice, while Juhi is seen in a negative role as a politician, for which she was not too convinced initially. “She (Juhi) playing a villain… A negative role was something unexpected. Juhi first asked us to mellow down certain things. We did it but she realised that there was no point in doing that as that is the main essence of the film,” the filmmaker said. ‘Gulaab Gang’ is directed by Soumik Sen.